Must Read

Mercy Snow by Tiffany Baker

I discovered Tiffany Baker's book simply because it was on a list of e-books on sale.  I'm not sure why it needed to be discounted because the story was worth full price.  It's a book of the haves and the have nots, and what happens when the haves misbehave and think they have the power to push blame onto the have nots.  It's also a book about the resilience of a girl who has nothing but her family and her drive to set things right, even if it puts her at risk.

Lazy Weekend

The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

The Orphan Train is a story that embraces true events of orphans from New York City being sent against their wishes to the midwest to be placed with families - some good but mostly bad.  The plot oscillates between the past and present day, where a troubled foster kid, Molly, is trying to make it through the last few months of the system by helping Vivian, a local elderly woman who, she discovers, also had a rough childhood as part of the orphan train system.  Digging through her attic mementos, Vivian tells her story and finds the closure she had always sought with Molly's help, while also changing Molly's life forever.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Have you ever written an email to a coworker, who was also a friend, using your company email? What about instant messaging non-work related conversations?  I know I do it all the time!! Imagine that all of those communications were being flagged and a night worker in the IT department had the job of reading all of the emails and IMs to review and report to management. Now imagine this solo worker on the night shift is so engrossed in the exchange between two friends that he hides their infraction just so he can continue hearing their story, to the point where he is so emotionally invested that he develops feelings for one of the friends....

The Rose Gardner Mystery Series by Denise Grover Swank

I read the first book in this series, Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes, because I wanted a little light reading and it was something I had bought randomly off of iBooks a while ago.  I was hooked after the first book, and ended up devouring the entire first 4 books in the series in about 3 days. The 5th book comes out in June 2014, and I already have it pre-ordered.  This series reminds me a lot of the style of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series - a female character with the worst luck who ends up in deep trouble all the time, a strong male in law enforcement that wants to protect her, a crazy sidekick (this time a dog instead of Lula), and a second male to compete for the female's affection.

Skip This

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Sometimes I wonder how books get on the bestseller and recommended lists. I've seen this on Target's bookshelves for months as a top recommendation, so I finally broke down.  The story centers on a young girl who adores her uncle, a famous artist.  When her uncle dies of AIDS, she discovers he had a secret - his long-time domestic partner.  Against her family's wishes, she gets to know her uncle's partner better and they are able to provide each other with support as they cope with their mutual loss.  I just found I wasn't moved by the implied level of intensity of their coping struggles -- perhaps because this story was set in the early period of AIDS research when there was a great deal of ignorance on the disease and that to read about the, then, irrational prejudice towards people with AIDS or who were HIV positive is so far from today's reality to make one less empathetic?  Ultimately, the book got really repetitive and boring once all of the facts were established, and let's not forget the easily predictable of the fate of her uncle's lover...